For this activity, I collected, explored, and sorted the various objects in my pencil case. First, I decided on how I will sort the items. I noticed several patterns that emerge within the objects such as colour, shape, thickness, functions and the characteristics of the objects. Therefore, I chose to sort and classify the items according to their’ characteristic. In this phase, I used my problem-solving skills to assist in working out what is needed to organise the data. After analysing all the items in the pencil case, the items were sorted into nine categories: Ruler, graphite pencil, ink gel pens, ballpoint pens, highlighters, Usb flash drive, mechanical pencils, eraser and pencil sharpener. Attached is a picture of my data visualisation. Through this data visualisation, I was able to analyse and summarise the data collected to draw a conclusion. For example, though ballpoint pens have a longer write life than an ink gel pen, I prefer the ink gel pens because it provides a smooth writing experience. Hence the reason, I have more ink gel pens in my pencil case.
Application in Classroom
In classrooms, teachers can use this activity to build students’ knowledge of how to handle data. The process of collecting, sorting, exploring, representing and interpretation of data are all essential skills required for statistic experience. It can be integrated as part of a numeracy lesson.
In an Early Childhood classroom context, this activity can be conducted as an integrated Mathematics and Technologies lesson. For example, in Pre-Primary (PP), the curriculum links to this activity are;
- Mathematics: Answer yes/no questions to collect information and make simple inferences (ACMSP011)
- Technologies: Data can have patterns and can be represented as pictures and symbols (ACTDIK002)
When representing their data into a visualisation, the students (in pre-primary) need to heavily scaffolded, as they are in the foundation understanding of statistics. Conducting this activity as a whole class, where students discuss and agree on a specific topic ( for example, types of pet), and then using as using a graphing mat to represent the data will be more applicable.